Which sound library is best for choral compositions?

Hello, Another question from a newbie : If I write a choral piece, which sound library would be nearest to a real choral sound, including the phonic elements of the text ?

I know full well that the best would probably be the most expensive, but are there others which would be possible, please ?

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This post should be interesting.

Here’s my personal summary:

Hope that helps!


I think EastWest is the only one that offers ‘speech synthesis’, with its WordBuilder, though as mentioned, there are problems using it with Dorico, unless you use an older version of the PLAY VST. (I still had some issues with v5, but others didn’t.)

as the OP has specifically asked for text to be rendered, then everything other than the two EWQL libraries Symphonic and Hollywood choirs are immediately ruled out as @benwiggy says. In fact the latter needs the latest PLAY software which seems more or less incompatible with Dorico so that reduces it to Symphonic Choirs. It doesn’t matter how good the alternatives are (and most aren’t that good anyway for real singing as opposed to film background noise) when they don’t do what’s required.

Did anyone try Dorico with the new OPUS player using Symphonic/Hollywood choir?

OPUS was released for the Hollywood orchestra initially. I see no evidence that any other libraries can use it yet but in case this info is out of date, please let me know. Symphonic Choirs could do with an overhaul!

Anyone tried the EW one with Dorico through a bridge?
Maybe jbridge or Bidule?

If a Demo exists for the EW Choirs with speech synthisis I might give it a try.

My default vocal instrument is a custom blend of GPO choirs with some hand-made SFZ instruments that reference Logic samples…! They alternate vowels each note, which gives ‘edge’ to repeated notes without losing the legato elsewhere. I think it’s the best “sounds like a choir if not actual words for all styles not just film score mood”.

VOXOS Epic Choirs from Cinesamples is Kontakt based and has a phrase builder with 30 syllables. I have no personal experience with this, but the Staffpad version sounds quite nice so I would expect the Kontakt version to do the same.

I have both and the StaffPad version sounds better, but I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong with the settings in Kontakt. The soprano voice sounds really nice and legato in StaffPad and in kontakt is acceptable at best. It’s weird because the kontakt version is more expensive. The sounds libraries in Staffpad sound amazing in general. I would like to have those options in Dorico for iPad in the future

I’ve run Hollywood choirs in a DAW (Studio One) and connected that instance to Dorico as an external MIDI device . It works correctly including word builder.

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Piano. Or wind instruments - oboes for sops, clarinet for alto, bassoon for tenor and bass. No point messing around with choir sounds in my experience.

Incidently, Hollywood Choirs does run in Opus. I am hesitant to say anything definitively, but for me so far, the word builder part does almost the same thing within Dorico as the Play VST does - which is no sylables except the first one…

Thank you for your replies : unfortunately, the best I can hope for is
a) write my choral piece, then persuade a choir to sing it, and use that WAV as a means for others to hear it, or
b) write my choral piece, and just use Dorico to produce a written copy only, or
c) try using some of the ideas shown, and muddle my way through.

I did not expect Dorico to be so limited in its facilities - certainl,y it has much to offer when it comes to writing music, but the problems shown in the forum was an unexpected limitation.

I’m not quite sure I get in what way was Dorico is supposed to be limited in its facilities. The basic problem is that no-one other than EastWest has managed to produce a virtual choir that sings text. Perhaps it’s not worth the development time. Who knows.

The fact that no one’s produced a “realistic” (whatever that means) choir sample library means it’s ridiculously difficult to achieve.


Your original question was “If I write a choral piece, which sound library would be nearest to a real choral sound… ?”

Given the extensive expert advice you have received here, to conclude that Dorico is somehow deficient in this area is frankly absurd.

Please use Dorico to write a score that real people will sing and play. After all, that is the purpose of a notation program and the mission of a composer.


Yo trabajo con Voices of Prague
Voices of Prague by Virharmonic - Word Building Plugin VST Audio Unit AAX (kvraudio.com)

You can also substitute woodwinds for voices in your audio mockup. If the main purpose is to give people an impression of your piece, it can turn out quite satisfactory.


Fwiw, Hollywood Choirs (an updated version of the Symphonic Choirs by EW) is on sale now, 60% off.

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